State Department Concerns Raised About Fewer US Drone Strikes Amid Continuing Terror AttacksSubmitted by Barracuda_Trader on Thu, 09/26/2013 - 05:24
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Published September 26, 2013
The number of U.S. drone strikes appears to have dropped significantly over the past several months while terrorists have staged dozens of attacks, a trend raising concerns for the top House Republican on national intelligence.
New statistics from the West Point Counterterroism Center show more than 60 terror attacks across the world since July 1 -- most recently, the attack at a Kenya mall last weekend in which more than 60 people were killed.
Meanwhile, the number of U.S. drone strikes in Pakistan and Yemen – the hotbed for Al Qaeda and other terror groups -- appears to have decreased significantly over roughly the same period.
The publication The Long War Journal reports a total of 22 strikes since May in those countries.
The apparent trend of fewer strikes amid perceptions of a weakened Al Qaeda and diminished terror threats is drawing concern from Rep. Mike Rogers, chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.
“It's not diminishing,” the Michigan Republican told Fox News on Tuesday. “There have been counterterrorism changes made by the administration that have concerned us all, things that we've been working on for a period of months that we're trying to work through that are very, very concerning. This is no time to retreat.”
The White House has not commented on the apparent decrease in drone strikes but has referred reporters to President Obama’s May 23 speech at the National Defense University in which he discussed the county’s evolving efforts to combat the war on terror.